Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Sep 3, 2009 at 10:26 AM

A disturbing piece in the San Jose Mercury News by one of the best environmental writers in the business - Paul Rogers - makes a convincing case for why we have to severely limit the amount of plastics we use. Rogers reported on an expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge pile of swirling plastic in the North Pacific Ocean that is about 1,000 miles north of Hawaii and twice the size of Texas. The plastics contain toxic chemicals and likely came from storm-water drains in California and Japan. The researchers found that jellyfish are eating the small pieces of plastic, and then are in turn being eaten by larger fish, such as salmon and tuna. In other words, not only have we polluted the ocean with a giant muck of plastic but now we run the risk of being poisoned from the fish that ingest the stuff.

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